Xepher to Stand in for Talon Esports at the PGL Arlington Major
Support player Worawit "Q" Mekchai will be unable to travel to the United States due to visa concerns, preventing Talon Esports from fielding its whole lineup at the PGL Arlington Major. As a result, Talon Esports will replace Q at the Arlington Major with T1's position four player Kenny "Xepher" Deo. Unfortunately for Q, this was his first Dota 2 Major, but he has to skip it due to external circumstances. Other teams, including Xtreme Gaming, Fnatic, and Entity, have also reported difficulties in obtaining visas for the PGL Arlington Major, which is set to begin on 4th August and last until 14th August.
Xepher to replace Q on Talon Esports at the PGL Arlington Major
“We would like to thank our friends at @T1 for allowing Xepher to stand-in for us in Texas,” Talon mentioned this in a tweet as it revealed Q's replacement would be Xepher at the Major.
Talon's Dota 2 lineup for the Major will include the five players listed below:
Nuengnara "23savage" Teeramahanon
Rafli "Mikoto" Fathur Rahman
Damien "kpii" Chok
Kenny "Xepher" Deo
Brizio "Hyde" Adi Putra Budiana
Q's visa was refused a couple of times, according to BOOM Esports' Dota 2 manager Zac Alfon earlier this week. He had stated that Talon and Q might try once more, but the player appears to have been turned down again.
While Xepher is one of the most competent position four players in Southeast Asia (SEA), Talon would have ideally wished to travel with its original roster given how well it has performed recently.
The squad came in second place in the Southeast Asia (SEA) Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) 2021-22 Tour 3: Division 1 and qualified for ESL One Malaysia 2022 via closed qualifiers. All five players on the squad have appeared to be in excellent form recently, producing amazing individual plays on a frequent basis in addition to the excellent teamwork they are demonstrating.
At the same time, Talon's result at the Arlington Major, even if it wins, is likely to not matter in its quest for a direct invitation to The International 11 (TI11). As per the current point threshold for a TI11 direct invite, Talon needs 1296 points. The team currently has 300 points and a win at the Major will provide it with 820 more, bringing its total up to just 1120 points. It is likely that such a result will lower the overall threshold; however, Talon's chances of securing TI11's direct invite are considerably slim.
Due to visa concerns, another SEA participant at the Arlington Major, Fnatic, will be participating with three stand-ins. Xtreme Gaming from China recently withdrew from the competition as its carry player Lou "lou" Zhen was denied a visa three times, making it unfeasible for the team to participate. Entity's carry player, Ivan "Pure" Moskalenko, was also denied a visa and will be replaced at the Major.